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Ahead of the 2020 General Election, Here’s What Voters in Western Alaska Need to Know

City Clerk Bryant Hammond of Nome counts votes cast at the local polling place, Old St. Joe's. Photo from Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM (2019)

The general election on Tuesday, November 3rd is ten days away.  Western Alaskans have a few options to cast their vote this year.

You can register to vote online at voterregistration.alaska.org with a valid Alaska driver’s license or state ID card.  If you do not have a valid driver’s license or state ID you may register using the paper registration form obtained on the same website or by contacting the regional Division of Elections Office.

Voters options include: Absentee voting in Alaska, but absentee submissions must’ve been received 10 days before Election Day.  There is an application for online absentee ballot that can be found here.  Similar to online voter registration, only a valid state ID or driver’s license is needed to complete the application, but if a paper copy is needed contact your regional Division of Elections’ office in Nome at (907) 443-5285.

Early and same day in-person voting is open now through Election Day at your local voting location.  The list of polling places in the Bering Strait region can be found here.

If you are unable to vote due to age, serious illness, or disability, you can have a personal representative pick up a ballot for you today before the election.

The final option for early voting is through electronic transmission voting, or email and fax submissions.  This is done by printing out a fillable form found here, signing it with a handwritten signature, and emailing or faxing the submission to the Division of Elections’ Office.

New this year, the Alaska Supreme Court clarified on October 12th that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, voters do not need to get their absentee ballots signed by a witness.  There have been known issues like communities with missing ballots as recent as the primary elections, but there are no known missing ballots or unmanned polling places being reported in Western Alaskan ahead of the upcoming general election.

Sample ballot for the 2020 general election, provided by the Alaska Division of Elections.

However you choose to vote in the 2020 election, here is what will be listed on your ballot:

United States President and Vice President: James G. Janos “Jesse Ventura” and Cynthia McKinney the Green Party nominee. Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen the Libertarian nominee.  Brock Pierce and Karla Ballard the Petition nominee.  Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence the Republican nominee. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala D. Harris Democratic nominee.  Don Blankenship and William Mohr Constitution nominee. Rocque “Rocky” De La Fuente and Darcy G. Richardson Alliance nominee.

United States Senator: Dan Sullivan, Republican nominee. Al Gross, Democratic nominee.  John Wayne Howe, Alaska Independence nominee.

United States Representative: Alyse S. Galvin Democratic nominee.  Don Young Republican nominee.

State Senator District T: Donald C. “Donny” Olson Democratic nominee.  Thomas C. Baker Republican nominee.

State Representative District 39: Neal W. Foster Democratic nominee.  Dan Holmes Republican nominee.

In addition are several Alaska Judges, including Nome’s Superior Court Judge Romano Dibenedetto.  He is up for re-election and a six year term.  Judge Paul A. Roetman of Kotzebue is also up for re-elction on this year’s ballot.

Yes or No to whether Supreme Court Susan M. “Sue” Carney shall be retained as justice of the supreme court for ten years.

Yes or No to whether Court of Appeals Judge Tracey Wollenberg shall be retained as judge of the court of appeals for eight years.

Western Alaskans will also have to decide on two ballot measures in this year’s general election.  Ballot measure one would increase taxes on the established oil production fields in the North Slope, and make that information publicly available.  Ballot measure two would increase campaign finance transparency, allow for open voting in primaries, and institute ranked choice voting in Alaska’s elections.

Cast your vote early, absentee, or in person by November 3rd.

Image at top: City Clerk Bryant Hammond of Nome counts votes cast at the local polling place, Old St. Joe’s. Photo from Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM (2019)

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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

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